Everyday Illusions explores the relationships that we form with our surrounding environment: from the spaces that we inhabit to the objects that fill it. The artists in this exhibition use a variety of approaches to construct and destruct illusions of reality. The exhibition includes Hermione Allsopp, shortlisted for Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2013; Conor Rogers, shortlisted for John Moores Painting Prize 2014, and Eleanor Watson, shortlisted for Cynthia Corbett’s Young Masters Arts Prize 2014.
 
Through collecting and photographing domestic objects from charity shops, Hermione Allsopp’s collages inform her sculptural practice and affect the way in which she interacts with the objects. Hermione re-creates the objects into new forms or compositions and explores how the home or house links to the body and mind. The space between things can be seen as a place of uncertainty or indecision: a space of transition. For Hermione, the charity shop object occupies this place, awaiting reuse or death as refuse or trash. Similarly, Rachel Wrigley uses photographic imagery taken from glossy magazines to manipulate, deconstruct, and distort the architecture and objects that are depicted within them. In undertaking this process, she invents new forms and provides a distorted version of reality, investigating space as a moveable, impermanent fixture.
 
Through drawing, both Carole Cluer and Alan Baker invite the viewer to create narratives around the work. Carole Cluer’s work explores whether it is possible to create memories through the act of drawing. Carefully drawn from her imagination, various ephemera give weight to the unreal through trompe l’oeil style effects. Carole constructs an alternative future or past within various objects such as a hat, a coat or a wallet, each meticulously recreated by hand in pencil. Similarly, Alan Baker creates sculptural assemblages from objects kept around the house that are intended to trap animals. He then documents these items through the process of drawing. As part of his Trap and Snare series, Alan captures the tension between each of the delicately poised objects, exploring the boundary between where wild animals become domesticated or agricultural.
 
For Everyday Illusions, Michelle Rheeston-Humphreys will produce a site-specific work. The installation of the piece will camouflage into the surrounding environment of the gallery. Inspired by the overlooked and ordinary, her trompe l’oeil style works address various themes of paradoxical realism; by exploring the wonder of encountering objects and images that twist our expectations, Michelle creates temporary, fragile realities or truths -- just stable enough to convince the viewer of their materiality.
 
Painting directly onto found objects such as beer mats and cigarette packets, Conor Rogers’ photo-realistic depictions of everyday life emerge from an ‘argument’ between the illusionism of the image and the substrate of the paintings. However, Conor relates the place the object was found to the scene depicted, creating an entwined narrative between object and image. In contrast, Eleanor Watson paints empty spaces allowing for the room and its contents to set a scene for stories. The objects described in varying detail are given a similar weight to props on an empty stage, retaining a likeness to the printed image.
 
Jenny Steele’s screen prints reflect on modernist sea front buildings from the North West of England; such as Blackpool Casino and Pleasure Beach, The Midland Hotel in Morecambe and New Brighton Palace in the Wirral. Jenny is fascinated by these examples of grandiose seaward looking architecture built in the 1930’s mid war leisure boom, when the coast was envisaged as a holiday utopia away from everyday toils.
 
The artists presented in Everyday Illusions offer varying insights into ways of working with the familiar, the uncanny, the everyday, the banal, and illusionism; creating and changing objects and spaces to demonstrate their ideas and thoughts. 
Hermione Allsopp
Velvet Percher
Collage
38x32cm
2014
£285
Igneous Province
Collage
34x40cm
2014
£285
Galactic Fringe
Collage
40 x 33cm 
£285
Alan Baker
Untitled 70 (Trap & Snare series)
Graphite on Paper
42 x 29cm
2014
£300 (unframed)
Untitled 69 (Trap & Snare series)
Graphite on Paper
42 x 29cm
2014
£350 (framed)
Untitled 66 (Trap & Snare series)
Graphite on Paper
42 x 29cm
2014
£300 (unframed)
Carole Cluer
Watch  
Pencil on Paper
25 x 3.5 cm
2014
£100
Letters  
Pencil on Paper
12 x 9 x 3 cm
2014
£120
Cap  
Pencil on Paper
24 x 21 x 10 cm
2014
£180
Michelle Rheeston-Humphries
Socket #1
Paper cast & reclaimed wallpaper
2014
Socket #2
Paper cast & reclaimed wallpaper
2014
Light Switch #1
Paper cast & reclaimed wallpaper
2014
Conor Rogers
You get me down
Acrylic on Cigarette Packet
10 x 5 x 2cm
2014
Brenda, I'm Awake
Acrylic on Beer Mat
10 x 10cm
2014
Jenny Steele
Promenade #1
Screen-print on Fabriano 300gsm
25cm x 21cm
2014
£80
Promenade #2
Screen-print on Fabriano 300gsm
25cm x 21cm
2014
£80
The Settlers
Screenprint on Plywood
6 x 7.5cm
2014
£65
Eleanor Watson
Stacked,
Oil on Paper,
19 x 25cm,
2014
£250
Overlooked,
Oil on Paper,
19 x 22cm,
2014
SOLD
From the Outside,
Oil on Paper,
19 x 22cm,
2014
£250
Rachel Wrigley
Rollin' Hearth
Magazine
25 x 20cm
2014
£100
Rollin' Hall
Magazine
25 x 20cm
2014
£100
Rollin' Guitar
Magazine
25 x 20cm
2014
£100